Sandra comes for revenge on Survivor, and Hurricane Debbie brews

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Last week had a crazy finish as fan favourite Malcolm was sent home, so now we’ll be tasked with finding new favourites and predicting new winners. And before we go any further, I need to rant a little about why I dislike Sandra.

I know a lot of people love her because she’s the only two-time winner and she’s a badass. But I’m really not a fan. She’s arrogant, overconfident and brash – which isn’t that enjoyable to watch when the castaway doesn’t also have some kind of flair or oddity. I don’t know how to describe it, but she’s not fun. I enjoy the subtleties of good manipulators and strategists in Survivor, but everything is so straightforward. Maybe I’ll grow to like her throughout the season, but her immediate control of her tribe has left me very bored. I loved Boston Rob, but the season he won was not enjoyable – that kind of obvious control from the beginning ruins the entire point of the show: struggling or battling to victory and Sole Survivor status.

But now that that’s done… onto the episode!

When Nuku gets back to their beach JT is in a lot of hot water. His whole plan at Tribal, telling Culpepper who they were voting for, backfired completely. Now, he has no choice but to hunt for idols – and he finds it pretty easily. I don’t get it: have idols been incredibly easy to find in the past couple seasons, or is everyone just getting really good at it? That’s why I loved how Troyzan found his idol, at the Immunity Challenge in front of everyone.

The Hunt for PB&J

Tavua finally gets to see who was sent home, and it just makes me sad all over again. I wasn’t even looking forward to this week after the last Tribal. But anyway, we must move forward.

There are grappling hooks to retrieve a ball, digging to find a bow, then going through obstacles while balancing. Then it’s back to the start and grappling for a handle and ball, through the same obstacles. Finally, one person completes a slide puzzle for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies, and milk. Second, you get some sandwiches. Honestly, not that exciting for the viewer at home, but I get that they’d be dying for it.

I love that we got a little more of the strategy behind who does what in the challenge, but that also makes it pretty obvious someone will be screwing up right? That’s the start of the blame game. Tavua flies through the obstacle section and gives Zeke loads of time on the puzzle, while Nuku came from behind and surpassed Mana that was in the lead. Ah, so Debbie on Mana, who said she has good balance, fails pretty drastically on this challenge.

Minor Fights are Blowing Up

Surprise, surprise – Debbie can’t handle that she caused their defeat. She immediately goes after Culpepper as the dictator who put her into that position, when we saw her actively saying she has great balance and would succeed in that position. I love when editing works like that. She runs off in this big angry mood about Brad treating her with no respect. And Hali screwed up on the balance beam while she did well. What? I honestly have no clue how she’s going off like this. People should never purposefully lose a challenge… But maybe they should purposefully lose this challenge. Next day and Mana is looking pretty tense. Tai starts looking for idols so he’s in charge of his game again, but that’s not really the sign of great play.

Over on Tavua, Sarah is trying to play like a criminal because as a cop she knows how they lie. But, doesn’t she catch them? That doesn’t seem too smart. And then on Nuku, people are fighting over sugar. Michaella wants a tiny amount of coffee with a lot of sugar and JT is getting frustrated because he also uses the sugar – so Sandra eats all of it to stir things up. I love that Varner knows all about it and is egging him on, that is so good.

Debbie vs Her Tribe

Tribes race up a tall wall, roll a big wooden cube, unwind keys, unlock a chest of sandbags, move them across a balance beam, and then use a giant slingshot to knock down five targets. It’s a lot, but the first few parts happen super quickly. So all that’s noticeable is Debbie’s running commentary of how awesome she is and how everyone on her tribe is shit. What a way to boost up her team.

The slingshots always seem pretty tricky, but this challenge ends up neck and neck until Tavua suddenly pulls out second place and sends Nuku back to Tribal.

JT Rages Against Michaella

So Michaella is a “sugarnapper” and everyone tries to keep him comfortable. I know I just ranted about how I disliked Sandra at the top, but her sugar stealing is really funny. Aubry is apparently on JT’s side, while Sandra and Michaella are paired up, which brings it all down to Varner.

Anyone else notice how insanely different this Tribal is from last week? Last time, Tribal went on forever, it was really dramatic and cryptic, and we saw none of the votes before Jeff read them out. This time it was short and sweet, and we saw all votes but Varner’s. So, let’s lay it out: Michaella and Sandra are up against JT and Aubry. Not only is this a battle between JT and Michaella, but it’ll be a real test of whether Sandra can hold onto her lead. If Varner goes with JT then he’s actively against Sandra. It’s a dangerous position to be in and don’t forget JT also has

Michaella actually sips water from a cup and it is the biggest sass level I have ever seen when JT is sent home. She whips her hair back, tells him to say hi to Malcolm, then giggles about the sugarnapping. I can’t imagine people will put up her passive aggressive tactics for too much longer, but it’s been fun this week.

 

Next week, everyone drops buffs again and someone is sent to Exile Island before a “former Survivor” makes a surprise return. So let me break down my immediate thoughts with you guys. My immediate thought was Malcolm comes back, and maybe gets placed on EI because I just can’t let go of the unrealistic hope that last week was all a lie. Especially if they’re doing Exile Island that could be a possibility, but exile is not redemption – they haven’t been voted out when they go to exile – so it’s probably all a silly dream. But what are your thoughts?

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